‘Thank you to everyone’ - Suffolk’s Ed Sheeran tops UK album sales for streaming, downloads and vinyl
- Credit: Kevin Winter
Suffolk singer Ed Sheeran is at the forefront of a resurgence in UK music sales – which saw 2017 enjoy its fastest rate of growth this millennium.
Ed’s third album Divide was the year’s most streamed, and physically purchased – including vinyl sales – of all artists.
The 26-year-old songwriter, who grew up in Framlingham and attended Thomas Mills High School, also claimed the year’s biggest single with Shape of You and the Christmas number one with Perfect.
In a message to his fans on Instagram, Ed said 2017 had been the “best professional year of my life, but it’s flown by”.
“Seems like a week ago that Shape of you and Castle on the hill came out,” he added
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“Thank you to everyone who has supported everything I did this year, amazing way to start the year and an amazing way to end it.
“Hope you all have a very merry Christmas happy holidays, and a good break.”
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Official figures, released by record labels’ association the BPI, revealed UK acts made up eight of the top-10 best-selling artists for 2017.
Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPT and Brit Awards, said: “Demand for music in the UK is growing fast, driven by brilliant British artists such as Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Little Mix, Stormzy and Dua Lip and the innovative music industry that supports them.”
A total of 135.1 million albums were either streamed, purchased on physical format and/or downloaded over the past 12 months – marking a 9.5% rise on 2016 and the third consecutive year of growth.
Sales of vinyl have enjoyed especially strong growth – up by 1,472% since 2017 – much of which has been attributed to gifting at Christmas.
More than one million vinyl LPs are thought to have been bought in December alone – the highest volume since 1994.
While vinyl sales have typically been dominated by heritage rock acts such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Oasis and Radiohead, the latest trends have seen the best selling LP mirror the top album.
Ed’s appeal to young listeners has seen him regularly top the charts for downloads and streaming, but 2017 was the first year he was also number one for vinyl sales, ahead of Liam Gallagher’s first solo release, As You Were.
The singer had taken a year away from music and social media in 2016, but announced his return on New Year’s Day last year.